• Galloway Air Crashes 1940 - 1979

    The Galloway Highlands have thirty-one major lochs dotted around the landscape. During the First World War rumours circulated locally that German seaplanes were using the remote lochs as a secret base. Henry Morton, journalist and travel writer wrote, 'There were stories of strange signal lights and of German petrol dump placed there for the use of Hydroplanes, that had a secret base on one the locals.'

    Eventually a large number of soldiers from the King's Own Scottish Borderers were based in Glen Trool, scouring the hills for any signs of activity. The soldiers never found a secret base, but they stumbled across the Glen Trool Hoard. A collection of Bronze Age artefacts that had lay undisturbed for thousands of years when they were placed underneath a rocky overhang, as an offering to the gods.


    Galloway Air Crashes
    Image 3. A significant amount of P5009 lies scattered beside the loch.

    Two weeks after the Armstrong Whitely was last seen above St. John's Town of Dalry, a shepherd discovered the aircraft wreckage on the southern shore of Loch Enoch. All three flight crew were deceased. Sadly, the remains of Douglas Barnes were never found. The boggy area around the crash site and the waters of the loch are a designated war grave, and it was assumed Douglas entered the water along with large sections of the aircraft. (Image 3).

    Galloway Air Crashes
    Image 4. Me, Craig and Scott after a blustery night camped near the loch.

    In the winter of 2018, myself and two friends, Craig and Scott, camped in a nearby forest and the following morning we trekked over the rough waterlogged terrain and placed a wooden cross of remembrance beside the crash site. (Image 4). The weather was wild and unpredictable as it would have been when the Whitley crashed. Nearly seventy-eight years later and significant remains lie scattered around the peaty bog. Pilot Officer Leon Szamrajew and his co-pilot, Flight Sergeant Jerzy Luszczewski, are both buried in St. Andrews Cemetery in Dumfries. (Image 5).

    Galloway Air Crashes
    Image 5. A remembrance cross we placed beside the crash site.

    1. AlyMac's Avatar
      AlyMac -
      Fantastic reading auld pal - thanks fur sharin :-)
    1. BarryDon's Avatar
      BarryDon -
      Thanks Aly. My pleasure
    1. sky44's Avatar
      sky44 -
      Very Interesting.
    1. BarryDon's Avatar
      BarryDon -
      Thank you.
    1. W33's Avatar
      W33 -
      Excellent article!

      Thank you for the time and effort you put into writing this. Your research is superb!

    1. BarryDon's Avatar
      BarryDon -
      My pleasure W33. Thank you for the kind comments!
    1. archangelmj12's Avatar
      archangelmj12 -
      Superior writing and accounts of history. Under the same pretense i was researching and saw an article about the missing aircraft that took off from Malaysia and was lost.
      From what the article said he had found the plane in a Vietnam jungle, well I went on to Google map and i located the wreckage and i measured it from satellite in meters, the measurements were off by two meters of the fuselage small break. I also located a small clearing with huts about from what im seeing at the most 3 to 10 miles. its a large makeshift clearing, near enough that anyone there would of heard the plane crash.
      Im surmising that the clearing with huts was a recovery by either legal or illegal operatives.
      What I did find interesting is the damage to the aircraft which showed wings rudder flaps all intact, the aircraft went down without power and there wasnt any fuel damage to vegatation anywhere in the surrounding area, no skid no downed trees, this aircraft did a freefall, and from the damages im seeing, there is sign of holes made by projectile and what appears to be damage from a missile of some sorts.
      What i found absurd is after the find Im not seeing anyone stepping up in Govt anywhere discussing what to do next.
      As you recall, the Soviets shot down an airliner over the Kamchtuk Peninnsula and strafed the water killing all passengers including a senator or congressmen from Georgia.
      Im also wondering if the reason they havent gone in is as to what they will find.
      Semper Fidelis
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